THE YEAR 2012 AND MAYAN PROPHECY: IS IT THE END OF THE WORLD?

By Marcia Montenegro, March 2009

"Thus says the LORD, 'Do not learn the way of the nations, And do not be terrified by the signs of the heavens although the nations are terrified by them.'"
Jeremiah 10.2

The Internet is abuzz about it, and movies are being made on it. It's not a place or a person that is garnering so much attention, but the year 2012. That year, according to Mayan prophecy, marks the end of a long cycle to time, specifically, the end of a 5,126-year (some say 5,128-year) cycle on the Mayan's Long Count calendar, a year which also occurs during a particular alignment in the skies.

 December 21, 2012 coincides with the winter solstice, and at that time, there will be an alignment of both the sun and the earth with the center of the Milky Way galaxy. This heightens the excitement and speculation, causing many to wonder: What will happen? Will it be the end of the earth as we know it? Will it be the ushering in of a "new consciousness?" Will friendly aliens land or hostile aliens invade? Or is it just another year with no special significance?

Some Say Catastrophe, Some Say Hype

The trailer of a movie on "2012," directed by Robert Emmerlich and starring John Cusack, shows ocean water flooding high mountains in Tibet. Numerous YouTube videos about 2012 show disaster after disaster: fiery comets falling from the sky and destroying cities, raging fires, and collapsing bridges. Look for other movies on 2012 to come along, such as the one  being directed by Oliver Stone and starring Tom Cruise, presently in the planning stages.

Many say the hype around 2012 is just a hoax. Anthony Aveni, a professor of astronomy who has studied the Maya for 35 years, said there is nothing to fear from 2012. "I think that the popular books... about what the Maya say is going to happen are really fabricated on the basis of very little evidence," (http://www.cnn.com/2009/TECH/science/01/27/2012.maya.calendar.theories/index.html). Aveni points out that the Milky Way galaxy would not mean anything to the Mayans since the center of the galaxy was not determined until 1950.

Others, however, such as astrologers and those with New Age spiritualities, put stock in ancient prophecies and the alignments in the sky. They believe that there are parallels with prophecies from other peoples such as the Hopi Indians, and even from the "sleeping prophet," Edgar Cayce, the man who went from diagnosing illness to giving spiritual advice on reincarnation, Atlantis, and a Jesus so different from the Jesus in the Bible that it should be dubbed the Edgar Cayce Jesus.*

For many years in New Age teachings, there have been predictions of the so-called cataclysmic "earth changes" such as earthquakes and floods, or even a shift of the magnetic poles, which allegedly will dramatically alter the earth, killing a large number of people in the process. Therefore, for the devotees of beliefs in these coming changes,  the Mayan prophecies about 2012 seem only to confirm their views.

So What Should We Think?

There is no evidence that the Mayans said the world would end on Dec. 21, 2012, only that their calendar ends on that date as the end of the long cycle. Some interpret this as the end of the earth, but that is speculation. Sandra Noble, executive director of the Foundation for the Advancement of Mesoamerican Studies in Crystal River, is reported as stating that seeing 2012 as the end of the world is "a complete fabrication and a chance for a lot of people to cash in" (G. Jeffrey MacDonald, USA Today, "Did Maya Calendar Predict 2012 Apocalypse?" 3-27-07, http://www.usatoday.com/tech/science/2007-03-27-maya-2012_n.htm). Susan Milbrath, a Maya archaeoastronomer and a curator at the Florida Museum of Natural History, adds that "we have no record or knowledge that they would think the world would come to an end at that point" (http://www.usatoday.com/tech/science/2007-03-27-maya-2012_n.htm).

If you are a Christian, you know that the end and renewal of the world is in the hands of God.

"But the day of the Lord will come like a thief, in which the heavens will pass away with a roar and the elements will be destroyed with intense heat, and the earth and its works will be burned up." 2 Peter 3:10

The "day of the Lord" will come like a "thief," meaning that we cannot and will not know the time (day or year).

If you are not a Christian, wondering about 2012 and other possible catastrophes will be a constant challenge. God created the heavens and the earth, and is the one who has ordained the time for earth's end, a time unknown to us. God will be the one who orchestrates this end and creates a new heaven and new earth.

"Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth; for the first heaven and the first earth passed away, and there is no longer any sea" (Revelation 21:1).

You are in God's hands now, even if you have not believed in Him. The one true creator God wants you to repent and trust in the promised Messiah, the Son He sent to earth to pay the penalty for your sins, Jesus Christ.

"The Lord is not slow about His promise, as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing for any to perish but for all to come to repentance." 2 Peter 3:9

In John 11:25-26, Jesus asks Martha a question:
"Jesus said to her, 'I am the resurrection and the life; he who believes in Me will live even if he dies, and everyone who lives and believes in Me will never die. Do you believe this?'"

Jesus is not talking about a new consciousness, but a new birth that comes when one believes in the real Jesus, the God-man who died for sins. What is your answer? This question -- and your answer -- is far more important right now than the question of what will happen in 2012.

*For further information on Edgar Cayce, see Lou Whitworth, "Edgar Cayce: The Sleeping (False) Prophet," http://www.pointofview.net/site/News2?page=NewsArticle&id=5142 and Christian Information Ministries, "Edgar Cayce: Prophet of Deception," 6-11-03, http://www.christianinformation.org/article.asp?artID=56).
 

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